Following House passage of the Ryan budget in a mostly party line 221-207 vote, U.S. Congressman David N. Cicilline (D-RI) slammed the Congressional Republican leadership for failing to work with Democrats on a commonsense budget proposal that reduces the deficit in a responsible way, invests in job growth, and safeguards Social Security and Medicare.
"For the third straight year, House Republicans have chosen to pass a budget proposal that scores points with right-wing activists but has no chance of ever becoming law," said Cicilline. "Instead of relitigating the last few years of partisan political battles, Republicans should be working with Democrats to outline a commonsense budget that responsibly reduces the deficit, puts our country back to work, and protects the promises we have made to seniors. Although we will have at least two more years of divided government, Republicans and Democrats need to work together so that we do not have dysfunctional government."
In his FY 2014 budget proposal, Budget Committee Chairman Paul Ryan (R-WI) rehashed many of the same controversial policies that were a large focus of the unsuccessful Romney-Ryan campaign last fall. Ryan and Congressional Republicans have been heavily criticized by observers across the political spectrum, with conservative New York Times columnist Ross Douthat describing this year's proposal as "a step backward."
In particular, the Ryan budget would repeal of the Affordable Care Act, end the Medicare guarantee as we know it, and maintain subsidies for Big Oil and tax loopholes that benefit companies that ship jobs overseas. In addition, it does nothing to replace the series of indiscriminate, across-the-board spending cuts known as sequestration.
Cicilline voted against the Ryan budget, which passed the House today by a vote of 221-207. The Senate is not expected to consider the Ryan budget.